What is CC-Link?

Jen Chen | June 16, 2022

This abbreviation stands for Control and Communications Link. It is a fieldbus system developed by Mitsubishi in 1996. This bus system is mainly used by automation systems made in Asia.

Due to strong customer demand, CC-Link was launched in the market in 1999 as an open network. Third-party providers were also able to develop interfaces for this purpose. In addition, a separate user organisation, the CC-Link Partner Association (CLPA) was founded. It is constantly working on the further development of this bus system.

What are the types of CC-Link networks available?

In total there are four different basic versions, which are used for different applications. These include:

  • Standard CC-Link, which has a data rate of 10 Mbit/s and is based on RS-485. With it both control data and information can be transmitted.
  • CC-Link/LT has a transmission speed of 2.5Mbps and is a bit-oriented network for the implementation of actuators and sensors. It simplifies and minimises the effort involved in connecting field devices to the switch cabinet. This provides the system with a fixed number of data, e.g. for digital inputs or outputs.
  • CC-Link safety is based on the CC-Link standard. However, this network has an additional level with the security function in the top layer of the protocol. This makes it possible to detect communication errors that could lead to a malfunction of the emergency stop function. Both the standard devices and the safety devices can be connected here. However, a prerequisite is a safety master module.
  • CC-Link IE is based on Industrial Ethernet and is designed for seamless data exchange at all levels of a production plant. This means that they are designed from the topmost control level to the production level. The data transmission rate is 1 Gbit/s and is therefore designed for the fast exchange of large amounts of data in factories and production plants.

Do I need a special cable for the wiring?

Since there are different bus versions, different bus cables are also used.   The standard CC-Link bus requires a three-core cable with a cross section of 0.5mm² and an overall shield. No conventional data cable can be used here. It is a specially constructed cable with a 110 Ω characteristic wave impedance. The core identification is necessary in white, blue and yellow.

CFBUS.035 application CC-Link
CC-Link certified chainflex bus cable for e-chains application: CFBUS.035

It is different with the IE Field variant, as this is based on Industrial Ethernet. Conventional CAT5e Ethernet cables can generally be used here. Many cable manufacturers get CLPA to confirm the suitability of the cables they produce. This was also done by igus for the CAT5e and CAT6 cables of the CFBUS.PVCCFBUS.PUR, as well as CFBUS and CFBUS.LB series. Therefore these cables are also included in the CLPA-Link catalogue.

CC-Link CFBUS.035
CC-Link IE certified chainflex bus cable for e-chain applications:  CFBUS.045

Application areas

As already mentioned, CC-Link is mainly used in Asia. But there are also applications in Europe to transfer automation tasks between the devices in various machines. In most cases, however, PROFINET cables are used here.

For this bus system there are cables for different applications. These cables are often permanently installed in the machines and plants. Therefore, cables with solid conductors as well as flexible conductors consisting of 7 strands can be selected here.

For applications in the energy chain, it is absolutely necessary to use cables with fine stranded wires. In addition, a cable structure tailored to the movement in the energy chain is necessary. Only in this way can secure data transmission be guaranteed over the years. This is why chainflex cables have become established especially in equipment and machines such as robots, packaging machines, production machines and machine tools.


CC-Link is a worldwide used bus system, which is offered as a conventional fieldbus system, but also as Ethernet based. There are many applications for these cables. These can be either static or moving in energy chains.

Are you looking for a reliable cable solution for use in the energy chain? You will find more information here.

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